After 29 years in education, I would have thought I perfected this teaching thing.Yet with my introspective nature, I don't  really expect that to have happened. I would like to think I've grown considerably and tried steadily to be a good teacher. In the hard drive of my brain, self-assessment is malware.  It's a constantly running program in the background of my brain. Truly, no one knows better than me my failures and weaknesses, and likewise no one knows better than me my desire to create a better version of me, the teacher, to improve the operating system.

As I wrap up this school year and my teacher career, this teacher evaluation component of a teacher's life has often been a quandary for me. I've thrived under systems that foster teacher learning. I've found myself more productive than those that that just gave check marks for teacher competence. Teachers that feel they are being judged by Simon Cowell work for the smile not the frown, but that's only when they feel critical information will help them develop to become more effective rock star teacher for  their students. 

As a teacher, I didn't mind being evaluated. However, I desired to develop not just be measured.  Measuring type evaluations left me feeling judged, while developing type assessments gave me a goal and knowledge of how to grow and administrators a place to provide input and assistance.

I know the value of words being motivators and confidence builders, words that create effort and a learning environment, words that challenge me to grow and continue to put forth every ounce of energy when my efforts might seem fruitless.   

While I've been judged many ways through the years and by many people, (administrators, teachers, parents, and students), the box I value most being checked is the one that a student says they had a great year.  It's usually accompanied by a hug and a great note. 

Cheers to those teachers striving to do their best for their students. May you know your efforts are developing you into that teacher your are imagining you can become.   


Rose McClarren said…
Cher my beautiful, loving. and creative daughter you are and have been a gifted teacher giving so much of yourself and yes at the same time when you give you have been given back by your students who have learned and thrived. What great letters to you from those that love you. And this is one more from a Mom who adores you. You teach me so much and give more than anyone can imagine. See when we grow older our grown children continue to be our best and most inspirational teachers.

I love you

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